On the news yesterday the headline about the proposed strikes this Summer was followed by the one about the riots in Greece.
The financial markets lost confidence in Greece’s ability to manage their own economy and their international credit rating crashed, the cost of insuring themselves against a credit default (known as credit default swaps) has soared and further increased their cost of borrowing.
The EU and IMF have bailed them out but set some very tough criteria on the loans and the Greek people are really feeling it. Public sector jobs are being cut and salaries are being slashed, their are riots in the streets.
The Greek parliament is is tatters and the current Prime Minister cannot form a coalition large enough to get a working majority to pass his budget. If it isn’t passed Greece will default on their loan and run the risk of having some of the IMF money pulled, tipping them into deeper problems.
Meanwhile we have unions threatening to strike because they can’t be bothered to wait for a legal process to run it’s course (the RMT) and our own national bedt means that very generous public sector pensions will have to be a little less generous in the future (the teaching unions and PCS).
When I look at the Greek collapse and the relatively modest savings that the government have had to make to bring our economy back on track I genuinely wonder what planet some of the union leadership are on.